UAV 001 The D Word

Northrup Sandshark

The word “drone” has a negative connotation to some. What does it mean and can perception be changed?

This week’s event:

Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Unmanned Systems 2013 Conference
Aug 12 – 15, 2013 in Washington, DC

AUVSI is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the unmanned systems and robotics community. They have 7,500 members from government organizations, industry and academia. AUVSI members support defense, civil and commercial sectors.

The News:

DON’T SAY ‘DRONES,’ Beg Drone Makers

To the public, “drone” has a bad connotation: military, death, etc. Can the industry change the word and change perception?

Florida Keys turns to UAVs to take on mosquitos

The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District is set to begin testing August 26 a Condor Aerial Maveric fixed wing UAV. They’ll use infrared cameras to identify pools of water that can host mosquito larvae. Then the water would be treated with larvicide on the ground. The Maveric was originally developed for law enforcement.

Northrop Offers Rental Drones To Air Force, Customs Training

Northrop Grumman has a new idea for the Air Force and U.S. Customs and Border Protection: rather than train remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) pilots on MQ-1 Predators and MQ-9 Reapers or in expensive simulators, give them basic flying time on a small SandShark drone. They’d pay by the hour.

This would save $70M per year. Operators can control them over any 4G cellphone network or the Internet.

UAVs in the U.S. Coast Guard

Drug smugglers have something new to worry about: the ScanEagle UAS. In demonstration trials, the Coast Guard interdicted a half ton of cocaine. They want to roll out the ScanEagle across its national security cutter fleet, starting in fiscal 2017.

AUVSI: Insitu looks to widen civilian ScanEagle applications

Boeing subsidiary Insitu continues to make commercial headway with the ScanEagle. In addition to the Coast Guard application, an undisclosed oil company plans to perform ice flow monitoring and wildlife observation flights off the Alaska coast.

ScanEagle air vehicles have logged more than 730,000 operational flight hours, through more than 88,000 sorties.

 

3 thoughts on “UAV 001 The D Word

  1. Max Flight Post author

    I noticed that David and I used the word “drone” many, many times throughout this episode. It seems you just can’t not say drone. It’s in the vernacular and I’m thinking it’s here to stay. Those wishing to separate the concept of military strikes from peaceful missions are going to need a different strategy. As for me, I suspect I’ll keep using the term from time to time.

    Reply
  2. David Vanderhoof

    It is very difficult not to use the word drone. Its one I have used all my life since I was a little youngin’ Only in the last 10 years has it developed such a negative image. I hope Max and I will be able to change that perception, even if its just slightly.
    David

    Reply

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